Want Monster Crappies?
Crappie Fishing Is Great At Night!

You may have heard about crappie fishing at night. If you haven't tried it, you are missing out on some exciting fishing. I have caught some of the biggest Crappies in my life with a lantern at night.

Crappie stringer These are the Crappie fishing tips you need to successfully catch huge Crappies at night!


Minnows are the best bait for the Crappie catching methods I am about to give you. A Crappie minnow should be about an inch long (no bigger than and inch and a half) and should be lively (alive!). I usually get 3 dozen or so in a minnow bucket before heading out. Keep in mind, the more you put in the bucket, the more strain on the fish, and the less longer they will live. If you can use a bucket that can be floated in the water, the minnows will stay lively. If not replace the water every half hour or so. If it is a hot summer night, throw some ice in with the minnows. This slows down their metabolism, making them last longer.

Depth and Location

To catch Crappie, you have to be in the right place at the right time. How do you know where this is? If you place yourself at the right depth and location, then the lantern with draw them in. How does the lantern “draw” them in, you ask? Are they drawn to the light? Well, in a way, yes. More about this later.

First you must be at the right depth. I like to be in 15 to 20 ft of water. Find this depth as you head toward shore. Depending on the lake, you may be 50 to 100 yards from the shoreline. It is important that you stay close to shore, as Crappie are drawn to shallow water close to shore at night. They like to snarf up all the night insects that are close to shore on the surface of the water. Topwater fishing for them is great fun also, but that's another web page...

Ok, so you are 50 to 100 yards from shore, in 15 to 20 ft of water. Perfect Crappie fishing location and depth. Your objective now is to get your lantern glowing.

The Lantern

A floating lantern is basically a 12 volt battery operated headlight surrounded by Styrofoam so it will float. This will work to bring in the Crappies, but I like to use a Coleman lantern for really great Crappie fishing. If you use a Coleman lantern, keep in mind that it should be calm waters and calm weather. The extra bright light of the gas Coleman lantern really brings in the minnows. Yes, I said minnows.

To use the lantern, I used a metal rod holder attached to the side of the boat. I then made a lantern holder from an old broom or hoe handle, screwing in a hook hanger for the over-the-water end. I always tie a cord to the lantern, so in case it should happen to drop into the water, it can be retrieved. Hang the lantern over the water, placing the wood handle into the rod holder. The lantern should be a foot or two from the water.


Now it is time to be patient. Crappie fishing needs lake minnows. It may take a half hour. Or it may take an hour. But soon, you will see a small tornado of minnows circling under the light. This swarm of minnows gets larger and larger, and deeper and deeper. Soon you will have what looks like an actual tornado underwater, made up of minnows that are already in the lake. And soon, the Crappies, on their way to the shoreline, will discover them.

Crappies swim in schools, so when one finds them, there will be many more. They will feed on the minnow swarm near the bottom of the tornado – approximately 6 to 8 feet deep. This is where your minnow (with the hook in it) needs to be.

Monster Crappie Time

Set your SMALL bobber to about an 8 foot depth. I use a # 6 Tru Turn hook. Hook the minnow so it stays alive. Either through the lips or in the back just behind the dorsal fin. Just keep in mind that it needs to be swimming around with the hook. Attach a lead split shot to the line about 8 inches up from the hook. This will help get your minnow down to where the Crappies are feeding. Any rod will do, but for great fun and a really good fight, use a fiberglass telescoping cane pole. You can pull straight up when the bobber goes under, enabling you to snag more, increasing your catch.

If you go Crappie fishing at night with a Coleman lantern, you had better plan on sleeping-in the next morning, because you will be up filleting Crappie for awhile! And the Coleman lantern will come in handy for that too!

Now in the middle of the hot summer when no one can catch a fish, you can go Crappie fishing and Catch Fish When Others Can't!

Share Your Fishing Tips and Photos!

Now you can show off your latest prize catch with your own free web page! A place on the internet where your family and friends can come to share your own fishing tips and experiences. Click here!


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